The Hourly Rate is Dead - Long Live the Hourly Rate

I always wondered what the phrase, “The King is dead. Long live the King” means. If the King is dead, why are the next words, “long live?” According to Wikipedia, the phrase is a traditional proclamation made following the accession of a new monarch. I am reminded of this phrase every time I read about the death of the hourly rate and presumably the “accession” of the alternative fee arrangement (AFA). Well, to paraphrase Mark Twain, “the reports of the death of the hourly rate have been greatly exaggerated.” Continue reading this post on ... Read More
Categories: Practice Management

Smart Lawyers Have Smart Phones

In my CLE on client service, I reveal a very simple formula for satisfying clients. Know what they expect and then manage those expectations. The formula is certainly a simple one, but we all know that it is lot easier said than done. Continue reading this post on ... Read More
Categories: Practice Management

Lawyer Rankings: What's the Ranting Now?

It’s been a few years since lawyer rankings and ratings have been prominently featured in legal media circles. Four years ago, regulatory officials in New Jersey determined that it was “false and misleading” for lawyers in that state to advertise their selection by Best Lawyers or Super Lawyers. After a long legal battle over what was referred to as Opinion 39, (I helped defend Super Lawyers), the New Jersey Supreme Court determined that the selection processes for both publications were bona fide and that lawyers have a First Amendment right to promote the accolade. Continue reading this post at ... Read More

Attorney or Umpire, We All Make Mistakes

Last week, it was front page news about how umpire Jim Joyce blew a call that cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. After the game, Joyce admitted his mistake and apologized to Galarraga in person. The following day, Galarraga, when asked about Joyce’s apology, responded, “He couldn’t even talk, he was crying. I understand, nobody’s perfect.” Continue reading this post at ... Read More
Categories: Legal Careers

Take Care of Your Referral Sources

I recently had an experience with a professional service provider that reminded me that there are certain things that lawyers should never forget when receiving referral business. We all love to receive referrals; after all, you have a brand new client that took no time and effort to obtain. What can be better? In most instances, nothing. However, here are some basic guidelines for lawyers about referrals that at times they forget. Continue reading this post at ... Read More

Clarifying the Law School Bargain

In my last post, I wrote that after practicing law for more than 25 years, I have little to complain about. I am proud to be a “professional,” I make a respectable living and at times, the work is satisfying. In a thoughtful comment to the post, one reader challenged that view. More specifically, he noted that he has been able to “(a) make a positive difference in other people’s lives; (b) understand the function and limits of government, and; (c) be a leader in my respective community” and referenced the “Attorney’s Oath” in our state of Minnesota to support his position. Continue reading this post at ... Read More

Benefit From the Law School Bargain

Everyone hears about discontented lawyers. The hours are long. The clients are impossible. The work is tedious and boring. I could go on, but I do not have to. You know where I am coming from. I have been a lawyer now for more than 25 years and have worked in a wide variety of settings. Some jobs were pretty good; others not so good. None were awful. In any event, whenever I am asked if I have any regrets about becoming a lawyer, the answer would be a resounding “No, I am glad that I decided to become a lawyer.” Continue reading this post at ... Read More

Good Manners for Lawyers

As a father of three teenagers, when cell phones became popular, it was a no brainer to ban their use during dinner time. The time was for family; any friends of my kids calling can certainly wait 30-45 minutes to have the call returned. Continue reading this post at ... Read More

Should You Make Resolutions for Next Year?

The new year is just around the corner. Are you going to make any resolutions for your practice? The good; they can keep you focused. The bad; they may discourage you if you cannot keep them. When I coach attorneys, I take a middle-of-the-road approach. I ask clients to think about two to four goals for the year. Keep them broad and forego a very detailed action plan. Also, be realistic. Continue reading this post at ... Read More

Holiday Cards: Bah Humbug!

It is now that time of the year when lawyers put together their list of who to send holiday greetings to. From a marketing standpoint, I have always thought that they were a waste of time and money. When I was an in-house attorney, I usually received about fifty. I simply tossed most and rarely read them. Occasionally, they were even insulting. Some sent cards with their names already pre-printed on the card. Couldn’t they spend a minute or two and write a few personal words or at least sign their name? Continue reading this post at ... Read More

To "E" or not to "E"(mail)

As a speaker and coach on networking, one of the most frequently asked questions is “what is the best way to approach a contact to set up a breakfast or lunch; should I use the phone or email?” Of course, the best answer is whichever you think will be more effective with the person you are contacting. Not a very useful answer though, since most of the time, you do not know. Given that void, I’m more convinced than ever, that e-mail, though not perfect, works better than the telephone. Here’s why. Continue reading this post at ... Read More

Make Friends Before You Need Them

I recently spoke at my alma mater (University of Wisconsin Law School) on job hunting tips and tactics. Although I speak frequently, my audience is usually lawyers, not students. While preparing the speech, I wanted to add some new tips that would be relevant to students. I then asked myself, if there was one thing I wish I had done differently while attending school in Madison, what would it be? It did not take me long to come up with the answer. Continue reading this post at ... Read More

Networking—It’s Not That Bad!

When coaching or speaking to lawyers about the importance of networking, the knee-jerk reaction of many is “you gotta be kidding me; I would rather take the bar exam again than network!” I was recently reminded of this mentality when one of my clients commented to me after two months of aggressively networking for a job, “it really doesn’t suck like I thought it would.” Continue reading this post at ... Read More

Marketing Malpractice Means Not Having a Website

I still meet some lawyers, especially solos, who insist they do not need a website. “I have more than enough business” is the common push back to any suggestion that they should have one. Well, they may have “enough business,” but there would definitely be more business with a web presence. Continue reading this post at ... Read More

Work the Room Comfortably at a Conference

Perhaps the most effective networking is a one-on-one setting over coffee or lunch. That is usually within most people’s comfort zone. But how comfortable are you when attending a conference with a room full of strangers. Can you “work the room” without breaking into a cold sweat? Continue reading this post at ... Read More

Legal Marketing is Better When You Say "Thank You"

When networking for business development or finding a job, you must know your value proposition. In other words, if you want to be hired as someone’s lawyer or employee, be prepared to convincingly state why you are different and better from the others being considered. For some, this is easier said than done. Eventually though, most are able refine their “story” in a compelling manner. Continue reading this post at ... Read More

Should I market differently in a down economy?

In this tough economy, perhaps the most frequently asked question I get from my business development coaching clients, as well as attendees at my marketing CLE’s is “Should I be doing anything differently now?” Continue reading this post at ... Read More

Good News for Lawyers: Your Competition Stinks!

Lawyers must market because the competition for business can be brutal in virtually all practice areas and localities. That is the bad news. The good news is that the vast majority of the competition stinks. Here are two stories to illustrate my point; both of them told to me by attendees at one of my recent CLEs. Both are general counsel at mid sized corporations. Continue reading this post at ... Read More

How Lawyers Should Ask For The Business

I participate in a variety of listservs and recently posted an answer about when lawyers “can ask for business” and not violate the solicitation rules. More importantly, I advised what a lawyer should say in an effort to get business. Continue reading this post at ... Read More
Working and getting together with Roy for the past eight months has been enjoyable and enlightening. It made me much more confident and effective in networking and interviews. " Read the rest
– Associate General Counsel, Falls Church, VA corporation

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